Radiations is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Physics and Astronomy Department of Carleton College. The deadline for materials to be included in Radiations is 9:00 AM Monday of the week you would like the information to appear. Contact if you want to be added or removed from this mailing list.

Posts tagged with “General” (All posts)

    • SDA Office Hours

      April 27, 2017
    • New Majors Welcome Event

      April 10, 2017
    • Candidate Research Talks

      March 23, 2017
    • SDA Office Hours

      October 26, 2016

      7-9pm tonight in the 2nd Olin lounge.

    • Transports leaving at 2:45 (presenter priority) and 3:05-ish for supporters from the Olin/Mudd loading dock!

    • Town Hall Meeting

      October 10, 2016

      Tuesday, 12-1 pm in Olin 04 instead of Physics Table this week.  Come learn about research opportunities for students!

    • DCC Meeting

      October 9, 2016
    • Seniors/Comps Meeting

      September 19, 2016
    • Engineering Team Meeting

      September 19, 2016
    • Sexual Harassment Training

      September 19, 2016
    • 3/2 Engineering visit

      September 14, 2016
    • The Physics Dept Student Worker Training will be held September 14th

      3:10-5:15pm in Weitz 236. Note the room change! Snacks will be provided. Don't forget to sign-in. This training is required for most student work positions in the department. If you are not sure whether you need to attend, please ask Trenne or Marty.

    • Alumni Panel

      September 7, 2016
    • Honors Convo

      May 23, 2016
    • Our own Tom Callister, Physics '13, will be presenting the honors convo talk Friday afternoon. Check it out!

    • This Thursday, April 14th, we will hold our traditional first lab for newly-declared Physics majors.  Those of you who just officially signed on are invited to participate, as Jr and Sr majors, faculty and staff all welcome you to the department! 

    • Visitor Candidate Talk

      March 10, 2016
    • Using German in STEM

      January 14, 2016

    • Physics Town Hall Meeting

      October 19, 2015
    • Campus-wide poster session

      October 19, 2015
    • Patent Law Program

      October 12, 2015
    • Save the date (s)!

      September 22, 2015

      Monday 10/5:  Verbrugge Memorial Lecture in Olin 141, 7:00 pm
      Friday 10/9:   5-7 pm: Department picnic, Hill of Oaks
      Friday 10/ 23: 3:30-5:30 pm: All-Carleton student poster session.
      Wednesday 11/11, 3:30-5 pm: Joint Carleton-St Olaf physics poster session

    • Winter Externships

      September 17, 2015
    • WiPs Conference

      September 17, 2015

      Check the link for registration info!

    • Spring DCC Meeting

      May 4, 2015

      DCC members:  remember your meeting on Thursday, 5/12 in the conference room during common time.  Yes, food!

    • Spring Picnic!

      May 4, 2015

      RSVP for the spring picnic!  It will be Friday, May 22nd from 5ish to 8ish pm on the Hill of Oaks.

      Please send Trenne an email by 4 pm TODAY ( and tell her the following:  1) your Carleton ID no. and 2) your dietary preferences, i.e. vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore.  Also, please indicate if you're willing to help schlep food and stuff over to the hill.  Does one of you have a vehicle and can help pick up food from Burton?  Thanks!

    • Seniors:  check your campus mail box for an invitation to this year's Random Wok!

    • Physics students: 

      We need your feedback!  For all of you who attended the talks given by our visiting professor candidates, THANK YOU!  Please come to lunch on Thursday, March 9th during common time to discuss them and let the department know your reaction to their visits.  We will feed you!

    • Friday, May 1st (week 5) 6a (3:30-4:30), Olin 141 

      Adam Witt ’06  “Developing Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations to Solve  Environmental Issues at Hydropower Dams”

      **If you would like to have lunch with Adam at noon Friday, contact Arjendu Pattanayak (apattana or x7166) to RSVP.**

    • Energy Tuesday

      February 23, 2015

      What are the challenges facing Minnesotaʼs energy policy makers? How can you get involved?   Join two alums who are leaders in the energy sector as they provide their perspectives.

    • Candidate Feedback Session

      January 18, 2015
    • Have you ever wanted to work in the Physics Department?  Do you already, but would like to pick up some extra hours?  Maybe your current work assignment conflicts with your winter term schedule?  In any case,  we are still looking for students to fill open spots.  Most urgently needed are afternoon lab assistants for either Tuesday or Thursday, for intro classes and 165.  Please email Trenne (tfields) to help out.  Thanks!  

    • Total Lunar Eclipse

      October 1, 2014

                                         Goodsell Observatory
                                Carleton College Observing Event

                                                           Total Eclipse of the Moon
                                                                October 8, 2014
                                                                  4:15-6:45 am

      We will have the opportunity to see a total eclipse of the Moon before sunrise on Wednesday, October 8.  The eclipse will actually begin at 3:17am, but it won’t be noticeable until the Moon touches the Earth’s umbral shadow at 4:17 am. If it is clear, come view a lunar eclipse at Goodsell  or watch it at home!  Goodsell will be open (only if clear) Wednesday morning October 8 from 4:15-6:45 am.  Totality is from 5:27 to 6:22am when the Moon is fully within the Earth’s umbral shadow and the Moon usually turns a beautiful red. The Moon will set while still partially eclipsed.  If it is clear, Goodsell telescopes will be open in the domes and several other telescopes and binoculars available outside the Observatory.  If you don't want to come all the way to Goodsell so early in the morning, binoculars at home will do quite well for observing !

      Further details of the eclipse can be found at 

      The image below from the above website helps to visualize the event.   Sunrise will be at 7:20am, so the eclipsed Moon will be setting in the west when the Sun is rising in the east.


                       Lunar Eclipse 

      Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope on-line.

    • Conflicting, separate worlds, or fully connected?  No matter where you fall on the religion, spirituality, faith or science spectra, come tell us what you think--and hear what other Carls & profs have to say!

      7:00 pm in the Chapel Lounge (basement of the Chapel, southeastern corner) on (most) Mondays: Sept. 22 and 29, Oct. 6, 13, 27, and Nov. 3. 

      Contact Jayne (pasternj@) or Iman (jafrii@) with questions or comments.  Hope to see you there!


    • On Wednesday, Oct 22 at 3:30 pm, the Carleton and St Olaf physics departments will be holding a joint poster session for students to present what they did during the summer. This is intended to be an opportunity for physics majors to learn about the breadth of experiences that other physics students had during the summer (plus it's a chance to catch up with Matt Wiebold and Jay Tasson). We welcome posters ranging from summer research projects to posters about internships or teaching experiences. If you are a sophomore this event will help you to begin thinking about what you might want to do next summer. 

      Talk to Trenne or Melissa about transportation to the event! 

    • Senior meeting

      September 19, 2014

      Calling ALL seniors, and any juniors who might be doing comps this year: 

      You need to attend a Very Important Meeting (!) on Wednesday the 24th (week 2) during 6a in Olin 02. 

      If for some reason, you absolutely can't be there, email Joel (jweisber) to make alternative arrangements 
      to get all the info you will miss.  Thanks!

    • Pre-Engineering Meeting

      September 18, 2014

      For all new students interested in Engineering: 

      Join us in Olin 04 on Thursday, September 25th at 2:00 pm when Christopher Ramsay, the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis will be here to discuss their Engineering program. 

      Come with questions, and eat treats! 

    • The Frank G. and Jean M. Chesley Lectureship has invited Cornelia Lang to speak in the Physics and Astronomy Department on Thursday, Oct. 9th during common time (12:00-1:00 pm) in Olin 04.  All physics students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. 

      Observations of Giant Molecular Clouds in the Galactic Center: The Past, Current and Future of Star Formation

      The center of the Milky Way harbors a supermassive black hole and is surrounded by clouds of dense gas, densely packed massive star clusters, and magnetic filaments that appear to be tracing a strong and well ordered magnetic field. This environment is much different than the environment near the Sun and is likely to be common in the centers of most normal galaxies. Therefore, understanding how these clouds remain stable, collapse and eventually form the next generation of stars is crucial to understanding how astrophysics works in this unique region of the Galaxy. I will describe the results of recent observations with the (upgraded) Very Large Array have revealed in great detail the physical conditions in a sample of molecular clouds that have formed stars in the past, are currently in the vicinity of massive stars and that might be forming massive stars in the future.


       Click the 'permalink' for a link to a great article about the galactic center; it's a suggested read before attending this noon talk.

    • Town Hall Meeting

      September 16, 2014

      For any and all students interested in Physics, especially first-years and sophomores:  join us for a Town Hall meeting during which we'll have department representatives tell you everything you'd like to know about Carleton Physics, like declaring a major, becoming involved in special projects, planning for summer research or internships, and more!

      The fun will take place on Tuesday, October 14th during common time (noon-1pm) in Olin 04.  Come, listen, eat, and ask questions! 

    • Tuesday, September 30th, Phys/Astro alum Joe Swiggum '10 will be on campus to give a talk.  He will present during common time (12:00-1:00 pm) in place of Physics Table for the week.  The talk will happen in Olin 04.  Please join us!  



      In the summer of 2007, the 100-m Green Bank Telescope (GBT) was undergoing track replacement and remained stationary for several months. The 350-MHz GBT Drift Scan survey took advantage of this down time, collecting data and searching for radio pulsars as the sky drifted overhead. About 20% of the 1,500 hours of data collected were allocated for the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) --- an outreach program that aims to interest high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related career paths by involving students in cutting-edge pulsar research and data analysis. So far, the program has involved more than 2,500 students from 18 states, who have discovered 7 new pulsars and re-detected ~75. The discoveries include several interesting sources: a nearby millisecond pulsar, a disrupted recycled pulsar with a spin period of 33-ms, a 4.8-s pulsar that nulls 75% of the time and most recently, a 185-ms pulsar in the widest-known double neutron star system. Over 75 high school students have been included as co-authors on the first two publications describing their discoveries.

    • Fall Picnic

      September 15, 2014

      It's already time to get ready for the fall picnic!  We have reserved the Hill of Three Oaks for this Friday, September 26th.  We'll have the grill going, so c'mon over between 5 and 7 pm to grab a bite to eat and just relax after the crazy first two weeks of term.  

      Please RSVP to Trenne (tfields) if you'd like to come.  You'll need to include several bits of information:  

      • Say that you plan to come!
      • Include your Carleton ID # 
      • Indicate whether you are omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan

      Please RSVP by Tuesday (tomorrow!). 

      Seniors and DCC reps, I'll need 3-4 volunteers to pick up food and get everything out to the hill.  Thanks! 

    • Dr. Ivan Deutsch

      September 15, 2014

      Dr. Ivan Deutsch, Professor and Regents Lecturer of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico, will speak on Friday, September 19th during 6a (3:10-4:10 pm this week) is Olin 02.  The title of his talk is "Breaking Heisenberg:  Controlling the Quantum World". 

    • Student Research Presentations

      September 13, 2014

      This week, we finish the series of presentations by students who did campus research, an off-campus REU, or another project over the summer of 2014.  They will be held in Olin 04 during 6a on Wednesday (3:10-4:20) and during common time on Thursday (Noon-1pm). 

      Wednesday speakers:  Shail Mehta  "A Metallicity Analysis of Spiral Galaxies in the Local Group", Carolyn Raithel "Characterization of the Unusual Emission of Pulsar J0901-4624 using data from the Parkes, Australia 64 meter Radio Telescope" and Brian Charous "Searching for Higher Order Cladding Modes in Fiber Optic Based Optical Levers"

      Thursday speakers:  Ben Levy  "TBD" and Bibek Pokharel  "Progress Towards Controlling Quantum Chaos"

      Come support your fellow students, learn about cool stuff they did, and find out how YOU can do the same!  We'll have a light lunch for the Thursday presentations. 



    • Campus Poster Event

      August 20, 2014

      Student Summer Experiences Poster Session

      Come see what your fellow students did over the summer and get ideas about your future plans!!

      Students will be presenting their summer internship experiences posters to the Carleton community.  Please join the students in celebrating their accomplishments, while doing so, get some great ideas for your next summer experience, and learn about internship funding opportunities. 

      Check out more information on how these students funded their experience by clicking here.

      Refreshments will be provided.

      Date Friday, October 24 2014
      Time: 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
      Location: Weitz Commons
      Sponsored by: Career Center
      Contact: srechtzi, x4296
    • Junior Meeting

      May 30, 2014


      Monday (today!) June 2nd, all juniors plus faculty members will meet during the regular Contemporary time slot (5a or 1:50 pm) and classroom to discuss Important Things for Next Year.  

    • Contemporary Experimental Physics Poster Session
      Wednesday, June 4, during 5A, 2nd floor Olin

      From silly putty to STMs, come learn about the projects that students have been working on in Phys 342 this term.

    • Farewell Study Break

      May 30, 2014

      We've had some pretty awesome visiting professors the last few years!  Sadly, for all of us, we've got three who will be moving on to new things next year.  Come take a study break on Thursday (June 5th) at 2:00 pm in the 2nd Olin lounge to say farewell to professors Jay Tasson, Julie Coats, and Kassie Martin-Wells.  There will be treats, of course!

    • As a reminder, there will be NO Physics Table this week.  Instead, please come to Olin 02 at noon Tuesday to give input for our upcoming departmental review.  There will be pizza!

    • 2014 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize Recipient Edward Ott will speak at Carleton College on Friday, May 16th at 3:30 pm in Olin Hall, room 141.    



    • Plasma Physics

      May 5, 2014

      Noted plasma physicist Dr. Mike Brown of Swarthmore College will speak on Friday, May 9th during 6a (3:30-4:30 pm) in Olin 141.

      Cookies and coffee will be served in the 2nd Olin lounge immediately after the presentation.


      Is there a Universal Character to Plasma Turbulence?

      Turbulent fluctuations in conventional fluids like air or water seem to have a universal statistical character.  Measurements of statistical turbulence metrics in a wind tunnel or in a tidal basin seem to be the same.  It is not known whether plasma turbulence is universal.  The Sun launches a turbulent stream of high velocity plasma with imbedded magnetic fields into interplanetary space at about 400 km/s.  Properties of this solar wind have been studied for decades and much is known about fluctuations in the velocity, density, and magnetic field.  In this talk, I’ll discuss measurements in a high velocity plasma wind tunnel at Swarthmore College.  The SSX MHD wind tunnel features flow speeds up to 100 km/s, magnetic field of 0.5 T, and temperatures of nearly a million Kelvin.  Comparisons to measurements from the solar wind will be made. 

    • Random Wok

      May 5, 2014


      The Physics and Astronomy department will hold it's annual Random Wok dinner to celebrate your four years at Carleton. 
      Bring your favorite stir-fry ingredient and come for an evening of food and conversation.  You should have gotten an invitation
      in campus mail!  Please reply to Cindy (cblaha) to RSVP. 

    • Spring Picnic

      April 28, 2014

      Friday, May 16th (THIS FRIDAY!!) from 5:00 pm to 7:30ish

      Converge, one and all, on the Hill of Three Oaks for a picnic!  We will supply the food and drinks, plus a few toys/games.
      Bring your flying discs, musical instruments, stilts, or other Fun Things for entertainment purposes.  If you haven't done it yet, send an RSVP to Trenne with your name, student ID #, and dietary preferences.  Come join us! Contact Trenne (tfields) with questions.


    • Current Physics majors, faculty, and staff are all invited to participate in the traditional first lab for newly-declared Physics Majors.

      Join us in the 2nd Olin student lounge on Thursday, April 24th beginning at 4:00 pm for a treat! 

    • Come view a total lunar eclipse at Goodsell Observatory or watch it at home! The observatory will be open (if it's clear) Tuesday morning, April 15th, from 1-3:30 AM (that's TONIGHT, for you night owls!). Totality, when the moon usually turns a beautiful red, is from 2:06 to 3:25. The Earth's shadow takes its first real bite out of the Moon at 12:58. We will have the 16" telescope open in the dome and several other telescopes and binoculars available on the pad outside. If you don't want to come all the way here in the middle of the night, binoculars at home will do quite well!

      Cindy Blaha and Joel Weisberg, Physics and Astronomy  

    • From the St. Olaf calendar: 

      Tuesday, April 15 at 7:00 pm in the Viking Theater, St. Olaf campus

      Physics: Film “Copenhagen”
      A 2002 PBS adaptation of the play by Michael Frayn, staring Stephen Rae as Neils Bohr, Daniel Craig as Werner Heisenberg and Francesca Annis as Margrethe Bohr.

      Inspired by actual events, Copenhagen revolves around a 1941 meeting between Niels Bohr of Denmark and Werner Heisenberg of Germany. Long ago, Heisenberg had been Bohr’s student and the two had developed some of the key insights of modern physics together. Now, they find themselves on opposite sides of World War II, with Heisenberg in charge of the German atomic program. Heisenberg makes a secret trip to see the Bohr’s but the details of their discussions are unclear. What were the reasons for the trip, what did they discuss and what conclusions, if any did they reach.

    • Carleton College Light Pollution Presentations and Observatory Open House Friday, May 2

      Carleton College's Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes the public to two events this Friday.   Presentations will begin at 8 pm in Olin 141 on the environmental impacts and health consequences of artificial light at night,  as well as actions that can be taken to protect our dwindling natural resource of darkness at night.  The research leading up to the presentations was done in a class led by astronomy professor Cindy Blaha.

      If it is clear, the presentations will be followed by a Goodsell Observatory Open House from 9-11 pm for personal sampling of dark sky views, nebulas, and planets; as well as urban sky glow. Dress warmly!  The open house (but not the presentations) will be cancelled if it is cloudy.

      Light Pollution Presentations:  8-9 PM, Olin 141

      Goodsell Observatory Open House 9-11 PM only if clear


    • Northfield will be celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 25th and Saturday, April 27th (Week 4).
      Come check out one or several of the FREE events scheduled for this year! 

      Follow the link below for event times and locations, including an Entertainment & Soup Supper at Weitz on Saturday.

    • SDA Office Hour

      February 24, 2014

      Registration for spring term is next week!  Your SDAs, Zach Lynn and Anne Sledd will have an office hour TODAY during 6a in the second floor lounge.  Snacks will be available while you get pressing questions answered about how to plan for spring courses and beyond!

    • Opportunities at the University of Minnesota: Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

      Special Presentation 9:30 am, February 13, 2014 Olin Hall, Room 04
      Joseph F. Labuz, MSES/Kersten Professor & Head Department of Civil Engineering University of Minnesota

      The University of Minnesota (UMN) offers great opportunities for students interested in civil, environmental, or geo- engineering to earn degrees in these programs, two of which are unique in the State of Minnesota (BEnvE and BGeoE).    Under the guidance of a world-class teaching and research faculty, students in our department focus on creating knowledge and skills that best serve the infrastructure needs of our society, a mission we refer to as “engineering for the benefit of society.”
      We invite high quality students to enroll in our undergraduate or graduate programs, and to participate in the innovative teaching, internships, and research experiences in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering (name change effective July 1, 2014). Students will have opportunities to work on a range of important problems from renewable energy such as wind and biofuels to environmental restoration of lakes and streams, from transportation networks to seismic imaging.
      Curriculum of the three programs will be explained, and specific examples of current projects will be outlined. The presentation will conclude with a brief discussion on “listening to rock.”
      Refreshments will be served.

    • Physics Table

      January 24, 2014

      If you would like to have lunch with Physics students, faculty, and staff, during which you might discuss some physics (or maybe nothing at all related to physics), we have an app for that!

      January 28th (Tuesday) Noon-1pm, the LDC Class of '51 Dining Room is when and where you should be.  Meet in the study area outside Olin 331 just before noon to walk over together, or meet us there.  ALL students interested in Physics, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to join us; you do not need to have any certain level of experience with physics.  First-year students are definitely welcome!  The department will treat you to lunch.

    • PHYS 228 poster session

      January 17, 2014

      PHYS 228 (A & N) students will be presenting their posters this Wednesday during 2A in Olin 211.  There will be some treats and hot beverages there as well.  You are all invited to come check out what they've been working on!  

      Eric Hazlett
      Assistant Professor of Physics (aka the newbie)

    • Dr. Eric Hazlett, faculty candidate, will be on campus Monday and Tuesday of this week.  He will give a teaching presentation Monday, January 20th, at 8:30 am (1a) in Olin 101.  His talk will be about Optics: Nature Always Takes the Shortest Cut.  Please come join the discussion (yes, it's early, but worth it!)

      Eric will also be presenting a research talk on Tuesday, January 21st during common time (12:00) in Olin 04, during which lunch will be provided.  His talk is titled: What's Colder than Cold?  Not a Polar Vortex, but Laser-Cooled Atoms, of Course!   After his presentation, coffee and cookies will be served in the 2nd Olin lounge so that students can meet Eric, discuss the presentation, or ask any questions about his research or candidacy.

      The Physics Department strongly encourages all faculty, staff, and students to attend these talks.  We'll ultimately choose one of these candidates to become a tenure-track faculty member, who will then help shape the department and curriculum for years to come. 

    • We will NOT have Physics Table this week, since we have a tenure-track faculty candidate on campus. 

      Come hear him speak and have lunch instead! 

    • Internship Information

      January 17, 2014

      Hello Physics majors!

      Want to get an internship? 

      Come to Weitz 236 (Larson Room) on Tuesday, January 21st from 7:30-8:30pm for student-to-student consulting
      on all of those questions you haven't had a chance to ask: the how, when, why, and where of internships. 

      Physics major Scott Dossa '14 will be offering his wisdom and expertise on finding internships, along with students working in a variety of sectors including: health, education, government, law, non profit work, environment, and more.  

      There will be refreshments!!!

    • WiPs Study Break

      January 16, 2014
    • Carleton Astro alum, Dr. Sidney Wolff, Class of ’62, will be visiting campus to deliver convo on Friday and to talk with current students on Thursday both in the Physics & Astronomy Department as well as in the Career Center.  Sidney has been involved in planning, building and operating most of the premier observatories in the nation.  She has tremendous insights into the state of field as well as many great stories of her work in shaping the next generation of observing.  And Sidney is eager to talk to current physics majors about their plans and interests.  You are invited to share in opportunities to meet with Sidney.  See below for further information!

    • Snowshoe Arb Walk

      January 14, 2014

      Sunday, January 26th, 2014 6:30 pm, Rec Center

      Join Arboretum Director Nancy Braker and Astronomer Joel Weisberg for an Arb Snowshoe Walk Under the Stars.  Learn about the night sounds of the Arb, and the stories of the stars.  Dress warmly and bring no lights!

      See for more details and last-minute information about possible cancellation due to clouds or extreme cold. Backup dates are Tuesday and Wednesday.

    • Dr. Derek Thuecks, faculty candidate, is on campus this week.  He will give a teaching presentation today, Monday, January 13th, at 3:10 pm (6a) in Olin 04.  His talk will center on interacting objects and Newton's Third Law.  Please come join the discussion! 

      Dr. Thuecks will also be presenting a research talk on Tuesday, January 14th during common time (12:00) in Olin 04, during which lunch will be provided.  His talk is titled:  Laboratory Plasma Astrophysics:  Bringing Space Physics Down to Earth.   After his presentation, coffee and cookies will be served in the 2nd Olin lounge so that students can meet Derek, discuss the presentation, or ask any questions about his research or candidacy. 

      The Physics Department strongly encourages all faculty, staff, and students to attend these talks.  We'll ultimately choose one of these candidates to become a tenure-track faculty member, who will then help shape the department and curriculum for years to come.  

    • Dr. Julie Coats, faculty candidate, will be on campus Thursday and Friday of this week.  Dr. Coats will be presenting a research talk on Thursday, January 16th during common time (12:00) in Olin 04, during which lunch will be provided.  Her talk is titled: Single-Molecule FRET Studies of Protein-DNA Interactions.   After her presentation, coffee and cookies will be served in the 2nd Olin lounge so that students can meet Julie, discuss the presentation, or ask any questions about her research or candidacy.

      Julie will also give a teaching presentation Friday, January 17th, at 3:30 pm (6a) in Hulings 120.  Her talk will be about springs.  Please come join the discussion!

      The Physics Department strongly encourages all faculty, staff, and students to attend these talks.  We'll ultimately choose one of these candidates to become a tenure-track faculty member, who will then help shape the department and curriculum for years to come.  

    • Acclaimed Nature Writer Professor Paul Bogard Lectures on the Beauty of

      the Night Sky and How to Preserve it at Carleton College

      Date&Time:  Wednesday, January 8, 7 PM

      Location:  Boliou Hall Room 104

    • Monthly astronomy open house!

      THIS Friday (week 1) starting at 9 pm, at Goodsell Observatory

    • Systems Approaches for Sustainability

      A special project opportunity will be offered during winter term to explore systems approaches to sustainable design with Melissa Eblen-Zayas (associate professor of physics), Joe Gransee-Bowman (MS in architecture, sustainable design), and Martha Larson (Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability). Possible topics we may consider include feasibility studies of year-round greenhouses in Northfield as part of sustainable living system design, exploring the potential for net zero energy buildings on campus and in the community, developing a framework for planning and integrating sustainability projects on campus, investigating the history and development of local community sustainability projects, etc. This 2 credit special project course will be offered on a S/Cr/NC basis only and students will be expected to participate in 5-6 meetings during the term, actively contribute to group projects between meetings, and present results in an appropriate forum. Students with interests in engineering, environmental studies, and sustainable design are all welcome.

      Want to know more? Come to an info session on Wednesday Nov 13 at 8 pm in Olin 103 or contact Melissa Eblen-Zayas (meblenza).

    • Physics Pumpkins

      October 28, 2013

      Einstein Pumpkin

      The 2013 Physics Pumpkin Parade

      Rally your team, come up with a plan, and create!  We're looking for physics-themed jack-o-lanterns, or some sort of physics-themed display that incorporates pumpkins.  Send a representative from your team to Olin 331 to pick up your department-supplied pumpkin and carving kit on Monday the 28th (week 7).  Bring your finished creation back to Olin 331 by noon on Halloween Thursday to display. **Location change!** We will descend to the student lounge on 2nd Olin admire the pumpkin presentations and have Halloween treats during common time.

    • This week we wrap up the series of presentations done by Carleton Physics and Astronomy students to showcase the research they did this past summer.  This week's talks will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5th and Thursday, Nov. 7th at 12:00 (common time) in Olin 02.  A light lunch will be provided each day. Please note:  the Tuesday presentations will take the place of the regularly scheduled Physics Table for this week.


      Tuesday's presenters:  

      David Atkinson and McCoy Becker will discuss Nonrelativistic Expansions of the Lorentz-Violating Standard-Model Extension

      Thomas Bertschinger will present on:  Observer and Particle Transformation and Newton's Laws


      Thursday's presenters: 

      Berit Goodge and Luke Hellwig will speak about A New Growth Method for EuO Thin Films

      Shail Mehta's presentation is about M33 and Dwarf Galaxies in the Local Group

      Taylor Baildon, Emily Longley, and Hayden Tournabene will present their research on HII Regions in M31


    • SDA Office Hour

      October 28, 2013

      Come to the second Olin lounge this Thursday at common time for a Physics SDA office hour. It's a great opportunity to ask questions about registration, meet some physics majors and eat free food. Questions? Contact lynnz or sledda.

    • Mercer Law Info Session

      October 27, 2013

      From the Career Center:


      Mercer Law Information Session

      Brittany Smith, from Mercer Univ. Walter F. George School of Law "Mercer Law" in Georgia will be on-campus to talk to interested students.

      Thursday, November 7th, 2013 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

      Location: Sayles-Hill Lounge

      Contact: Andrea Kubinski, Andrea Kubinski, x5511


    • Physics Table

      October 21, 2013

      If you would like to have lunch with Physics students, faculty, and staff, during which you might discuss some physics (or maybe nothing at all related to physics), we have an app for that!

      October 22nd (Tuesday) Noon-1pm, the LDC Shearer Dining Room is when and where you should be.  Meet in the study area outside Olin 331 just before noon to walk over together, or meet us there.  ALL students interested in Physics, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to join us; you do not need to have any certain level of experience with physics.  First-year students are definitely welcome!  The department will treat you to lunch. 


    • Sophomores! 

      Remember to attend the Sophomore Meeting on Thursday, October 24th (week 6)                                                                                                                                                                 at 12:00 noon in Olin 002.  There will be food!

    • Internship Information

      October 21, 2013

      Hey awesome Carls!

      We want you to learn about the cool internships your fellow Carls were up to this summer, funded by Carleton scholarships YOU can apply to get.

      WHAT: Summer Internship Poster Session
      WHEN: Thursday, Oct 24, 7:30-8:30pm
      WHERE: Great Hall

      Looking forward to seeing you there. Cheers!
      Your Career Advisors

    • Interested in working with Peace Corps?

      Workshop with Leslie Miles ’11

      What: Peace Corps Information Session with Leslie Miles  ’11
      Recently returned Peace Corps volunteer Leslie Miles will present about his experiences serving in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013. He will share candidly about work responsibilities, living conditions, volunteer support, and behavioral policies within the Peace Corps.

      At the end of the session, Miles will be available to meet with students individually to answer questions about the program and assist those who are currently applying.

      When: Today!  October 14, 2013 from 7:00pm-8:00pm
      Where: Leighton 301

    • Carleton Phys/Astro alum Ryan Terrien will be here for a visit and will give a presentation during common time on Thursday, Oct. 17th (week 5) in Olin 101.  A light lunch will be provided.

    • This week (week 4) there will be NO Physics Table.  Instead, please join us Tuesday (and Thursday!) during common time to hear Physics and Astronomy students present on the research they conducted this past summer.  We will meet in Olin 02; a light lunch will be provided each day. 

    • TEDx at Carleton

      September 30, 2013

      TEDx is Coming to Carleton on Saturday, October 12

      Register now to be a part of this immersive, full-day experience of enlightening talks and thoughtful conversation.  19 speakers and countless student organizers value your support and hope to see you there!

    • Engineering program meeting

      September 23, 2013

      For all potential engineers:

      On Thursday (September 26) will have a visit from a representative of
      the dual degree program at Washington University - St. Louis. He will be
      available to meet with students from 10 am to noon, in Olin 202. If you
      are interested in the dual degree program this would be an excellent
      opportunity to receive more information about Washington University,
      their engineering school, and everything about the dual degree.

      See you there!

      Nelson Christensen, Engineering Advisor

    • Physics Table

      September 19, 2013

      If you would like to have lunch with Physics students, faculty, and staff, during which you might discuss some physics (or maybe nothing at all related to physics), we have an app for that!

      October 1st (Tuesday) Noon-1pm, the LDC Shearer Dining Room is when and where you should be.  Meet in the study area outside Olin 331 just before noon to walk over together, or meet us there.  ALL students interested in Physics, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to join us; you do not need to have any certain level of experience with physics.  First-year students are definitely welcome!  The department will treat you to lunch. 


    • THIS WEEK: Friday, Sept. 27th (week 3) we will have our annual fall department picnic from 5-7 pm on the Hill of three oaks.  Details are posted on the bulletin board outside Trenne's office and in Olin stairwells.  Everyone interested in Physics is encouraged to attend!  Juniors and Seniors, if you bring along a first-year student or a sophomore, we'll put your name in a drawing for a Goodbye Blue Monday gift certificate.

      Please email Trenne with an RSVP which includes your meal plan no. and veggie/vegan/omni meal choice.

    • Welcome to Fall Term 2013!

      September 16, 2013

      Welcome, new students, and welcome BACK returning students! 

      Stuff for you to make note of, or remember, or act on:

      Senior Meeting

      A meeting will be held for all seniors on Friday, Sept. 20th (week 2) in Olin 02 at 3:30 (6a).
      You'll discuss comps and post-Carleton options.  Joel Weisberg, our department "Comps Czar"
      and a campus career coordinator will be there to cover everything you need to know.  Any current
      juniors who plan to do their comps this academic year should also attend!

      Social Media

      Did you know that the Physics and Astronomy department has it's own Facebook page?  Twitter account? 
      Yes!  Both truly exist!  Log onto Facebook to "like" our page (Carleton College Physics and Astronomy)
      or check out Twitter and follow us at:

       There, you can find science-related posts, fun trivia, and information about department people and events.

    • On Tuesday, September 17, the Minnesota State Senate Higher Education Committee will hold a Town Hall Forum at Carleton to hear from students, faculty, staff and those from the broader Northfield area community about their views on issues facing higher education. Committee chair Senator Terri Bonoff will visit as part of a statewide listening tour to learn more about private colleges in Minnesota, and the important part they play in educating our future leadership and workforce. Committee member Senator Greg Clausen and other elected officials will attend as well.

      Join in the Town Hall Forum on Tuesday from 2:45-3:30 p.m. in Great Hall.

      Senator Bonoff is taking her listening tour to 20 colleges around Minnesota during the month.  To find out more about her tour and how you can share your ideas, please visit

    • Women in Physics!

      September 16, 2013

      The Women in Physics and Astronomy (WiPA) group at the University of Minnesota is hosting "Life after Undergrad", an event for undergraduate women in physics and related fields.  We would like very much to invite female undergraduate students in your department to our event. The basic information is as follows:

      Date: Monday October 7th, 2013
      Time: 6:15-9:15 PM
      Location: Tate Lab of Physics, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, East Bank (specific room TBA)
      Who: All undergraduate women currently majoring in or interested in physics or related fields (astronomy, engineering, etc)  (preferably by Sept. 26, 2013)
      Cost: FREE

    • If you would like to have lunch with Physics students, faculty, and staff, during which you might discuss some physics, we have an app for that!

      June 4th (Tuesday) Noon-1pm, LDC Class of '51 Dining Room is when and where you should be.  Meet on 3rd Olin at 11:50 to enjoy a companionable walk over or just meet us there.


    • FOCUS students:  You are Invited to the FOCUS End-of-Year Ice Cream Social!

      Please join all of the FOCUS students in celebrating the end of another successful year and congratulate the seniors on their upcoming graduation from 3:30-4:30 pm on the last day of classes, Wednesday, June 5.  We will gather in the amphitheater area between Hulings, Olin, and Mudd if the weather is good.  In case of poor weather, we will move inside the link on the ground floor of Olin/Mudd.  Ice cream and good conversation will be plentiful, and we hope to see you there!

      Cindy Blaha, Eric Egge, Deborah Gross and Debby Walser-Kuntz

    • Honors Convocation

      May 28, 2013

      Honors Convocation Friday, May 31st at 3:00 pm 

      Kai Knutson ’11, recipient of a Larson International Fellowship and a Watson Fellowship will present this year’s convocation address. This is a great opportunity for students to celebrate the achievements of friends and classmates--there are several Physics and Astronomy majors who will be honored at the convocation.   Please come and congratulate them!

    • MIPs campfire

      May 28, 2013

      From Physics major Zach Lynn:

      This Friday, May 31st, (week 9) Men in Physics will be having a campfire somewhere in the Arb (hopefully the Hill of Three Oaks) at 8pm. There will be s'mores, music, football and lots of shenanigans. All are welcome. Email lynnz or tearsj with questions.

    •     *    *    *    * PICNIC! *    *    *    *

      THIS Friday, May 24th (week 8) we will hold the annual end-of-year picnic for ALL Physics and Astronomy students, faculty, and staff.
      It will be held at the Hill of Three Oaks starting at 4:00 pm, but the fun will continue until 8-ish if you can't make it 
      right away.  If strange, inclement Minnesota weather threatens, we will move things to the patio area in front of Olin Hall.
      If you are currently of Junior class standing, by tradition you should volunteer to help take grills, coolers, food, etc. over to
      the hill.  Please email Trenne to let her know that you can, in fact, help with these essential tasks.

      Frisbees, balls, tightropes, juggling implements, and other fun things are welcome to join us.     

      If you plan to attend the picnic, please email Trenne ( to RSVP.  If you have a board plan, be sure to
      include your student ID number.   You should also indicate if you prefer a vegetarian meal option.  

      PLEASE RSVP BY TUESDAY (tomorrow), MAY 21 AT NOON! 



    View all items in Upcoming Events.
  • View all items in BTW....
    • Physics Fulbrights

      September 24, 2012

      Answer to last week's trivia question: engineering associate at Medtronic. Sadly, no correct answers were submitted.  

      In the past five years, three physics majors have been Fulbright scholars. What were the three countries that these Fulbright scholars traveled to after graduation?

      Please submit your answer (along with your name and e-mail address) to the envelope labeled Radiations trivia outside Melissa's office (Olin 325). From the correct answers submitted by Wednesday morning at 9 am, one respondent will be chosen at random to receive a prize.

    • Carleton physics majors from the Class of 2012 are attending graduate school in all of the following fields except one: architecture, astronomy, civil engineering, earth and planetary science, electrical engineering, law, mechanical engineering, marine science, physics. Which one is NOT a field being pursued by one of last year's physics graduates?

      Please submit your answer (along with your name and e-mail address) to the envelope labelled Radiations trivia outside Melissa's office (Olin 325). From the correct answers submitted by Wednesday morning at 9 am, one respondent will be chosen at random to receive a prize.

    View all items in Trivia.

Show all items